Visited in previous modules, Damian Sutton has been an incredible influence to my ideas surrounding the duration of the image. Some more recent highlights below that have sparked new curiosity with duration.
A really fascinating book by Marianne Hirsch, which has been pivotal in my current direction of my project. I think to understand what it is that I am doing through these conversations with my grandmother is a really important thing to do as I move through the FMP module. I think postmemory is such an interesting subject and not one that is widely talked about in contemporary photography as much as memory is. One point that really interests me as I start this book is the idea that “photographs promote forgetting…” (Hirsch, 2013) Do we rely on images to remember past events? in a sort of dont worry its on camera sort of way. One thing that I have picked up on before in the surfaces and strategies module when I first really started to look at the act of remembrance is the example of the mass amount of phone cameras pointing at the stage at a music concert or in the theatre. Everyone has this need to record but to the detriment of actually seeing it with heir eyes and remembering it. We now rely on these tools for remembering things, with more and more memories sitting on a cloud somewhere. This idea also paves the way for the way family albums are passed from generation to generation. In years to come it will be a grandparent clicking on a share link button somewhere to show the grandchildren the photos from their childhood.
Back to Postmemory then. Thinking about it in terms my own motivations to understand it, Postmemroy to me appears to be evidenced all round us. I have listened to countless stories of trips to Israel that my grandparents have taken over the years on pilgrimage, and have been on one of those pilgrimages but I in some ways remember the other ones too. I remember when Sue talks about certain people being there or when this or that happened as if I was there. Have I inherited those memories? passed down to me like the physical family album is..?
Continuing on from a previous post about Marianne Hirsch and Postmemory I wanted to highlight some further points of reflection.
Joan Gibbons writes on the subject of Memory and Photography and has introduced Marianne Hirsch’s description of Postmemory. She uses a lovely anecdote for Postmemory where she discusses it in terms of the primary and secondary witness. “Postmemory - secondary memory that has been passed constructed by the next generation rather than the primary witness” and then gos not o discuss how postmemory is “the inheritance of past events that are still being worked through.” This idea resonates with me when thinking about my grandmothers memories and the stories that I inherit through he conversations we have. Something I am a little less familiar with and something I will investigate further is what is meant by “still being worked through”. Is this referring to the wrk through of life in general or a more succinct working through like that of an investigation?
Through all my thinking on memory, I wanted to start to deconstruct what memory is. I think I am near to understanding in my own terms what it is, and now need to explore how to determine/realise this in a photographic and aesthetic method. Memory is a fragment of time within a duration of an experience.
Damien Sutton very clearly and concisely talks about the relationship between time and duration and that of photographic time as well as cinematic time. This book is going to be very influential as I move over to the FMP.
Sutton, D. (2009). Photography, cinema, memory. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, pp.32-35.
Thinking of our memory as a kind of 'history book', or thinking about our fragments of memory in terms of 'geography'. We map our own paths collecting memorandum along the way. These paths can the be organised through the photographs made, the postcards collected and stored in an archive.
This idea of memory being related to geography reminds me of the Chinese Tradition 'memory Palace'. Items of memory are placed along a path known well to the person and the path is then travelled along passing past items of recollection.
This idea of geography, of recollecting the paths once travelled and also the objects of memory are all things I wish to integrate into my practise in the future - perhaps through landscape works or through physical travel to obtain a deeper understanding of what I understand to be my own methodology in memory work.
Marker, C. (2018). Immemory. [online] Chris Marker. Available at: https://chrismarker.org/?s=immemory [Accessed 19 Aug. 2018].
Campany, D. (2018). SO PRESENT, SO INVISIBLE. 1st ed. Rome: CONTRASTO, pp.17-43.